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Heather Jeffcoat at Buzzfeed
things you should have been taught in sex ed
Cassandra Corrado / Via giphy.com
Buzzfeed author Lara Parker penned a highly informative article on all types of things you should have been taught in sex ed, and she reached out to Heather Jeffcoat for her advice on how to deal with issues of painful sex and related concerns. Here is a brief synopsis, with a link to the full article below.

Things You Should Have Been Taught in Sex Ed

Here's Some Sex Education You Actually Need, Including How Much Porn Is Too Much and Whether You Really Need to Pee After Sex

Let's just say there's a lot that's not always covered in sex ed.

Sometimes the sex education we learn around the world isn't, well, that educational. So we've spoken to sex educators, doctors, and medical experts of all kinds to compile some information we think everyone should have access to. This list is not exhaustive, and will probably always need adding onto, so feel free to let us know what you may still be curious about at the end!

19. Painful sex is not normal. And according to Dr. Heather Jeffcoat, pelvic floor physical therapist and author of the book, Sex Without Pain, sex is not supposed to hurt — ever! If it does, the reasons for this pain must be determined. She adds that, unfortunately, our society has normalized pain to the point where women are not seeking what could be critical care. So let's dive into reasons as to why this may be the case.

Treatments that can not only lead them to a painfree sex life, but that may also uncover medical conditions that could and should be treated in a timely manner. There is always a reason for painful sex, says Dr. Jeffcoat, but the challenge can be in finding a provider that will be the detective to help you find the reason and set up the right treatment plan. If a provider tells you "there is nothing wrong" and you are having pain, you need to switch providers. There are many reasons that sex could hurt for those with vaginas including but not limited to:

  1. vaginismus
  2. vulvodynia or vestibulodynia and subtypes of these (including clitordynia (or clitoral pain)
  3. endometriosis
  4. hymen abnormalities (such as an imperforate or septate hymen)
  5. vaginal septum
  6. local or systemic hormone deficiencies (typically estrogen and testosterone)
  7. Lichen sclerosus or lichens planus
  8. sexually transmitted infections
  9. Bartholin’s cyst
  10. Ovarian cyst
  11. other infections such as yeast or UTI
  12. vaginal ulcer
  13. post-operative pain due to scar tissue

The pain being "all in your head", by the way, is never a reason. If you are ever told this by a provider, you should immediately go find a new provider.

The above is just a brief excerpt from this detailed article. For 28 other things you should have been taught in sex ed, continue to the full article here.

More Great Products We Love

When Sex Seems Impossible by Peter Pacik, MD

Have fear and pain stopped you from having intercourse?
Are you unable to use tampons, or feel like they won't fit?
Do you physically withdraw or panic during gynecological exams?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be suffering from vaginismus, a condition that affects millions of women worldwide.

This book offers important medical information and first-person stories, including a new treatment option that has helped over ninety percent of my patients with severe vaginismus overcome this condition to go on to have pain-free, intimate relationships.

My treatment of vaginismus has put me in contact with patients from around the world and many different cultures. While each patient is unique, their stories evoke common themes-the shame of not being able to experience intercourse; guilt over lost relationships; a deep fear that their childbearing years will come and go. The stories shared by these women moved me deeply, and I felt their voices needed to be heard.

When Sex Seems Impossible: Stories of Vaginismus and How You Can Achieve Intimacy provides medical information about this condition and how it can be overcome. Equally important, the book shares the personal experiences of several of my vaginismus patients. These women volunteered to tell their stories in an effort to let their sister sufferers know that they are not alone, and do not need to suffer in silence. I admire them more than I can say.

Testimonials from Patients of Dr. Pacik for the Treatment of Vaginismus:

It has been three weeks and two days since my procedure. I was finally able to achieve intercourse tonight (full penetration)! I have learned so much about myself and my body since the procedure. I woulld highly recommend this treatment to anyone who suffers from vaginismus."

I feel like I have a real marriage now. I feel triumphant!"

Today we finally made love. It was actually incredible. I finally got to connect with him on this amazing level."

What Our Patients Have to Say


Testimonial by S.S., age 54

Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

Testimonial by A.M.

Months after giving birth, it was difficult for me to go from a sitting or lying position up to a full standing position without feeling that I had to remain hunched over until a bit of time had passed to get fully upright. However, after taking Heather’s course, I learned exercises to get my body back to normal. She also showed me correct ways to lift and carry my son as well as put him in/take him out of the carseat and stroller. This class was really beneficial and Heather is a wonderful teacher who made me feel very comfortable.

-- A.M.

Testimonial by Ann V.

I wish i could give this place 10 stars!! 
I have been suffering from vaginismus for 5 years and never found the cure to it. I had seen an ob/gyn and he diagnosed me with vaginismus and told me i needed a surgery to cure my condition, which i refused to do. He also referred me to a PT that he works with, i had given them multiple calls and they never responded back to me, so i started searching yelp for another PT. I am SO HAPPY I found Heather's office! I was working with Laureen, and with her guidance and techniques i was able to be cured from vaginismus in only 2 1/2 short months!!! I couldn't believe how quickly their program worked for me! I am forever grateful and thankful from Heather, and Laureen! They are the absolute best at what they do!

Read more: Testimonial by Ann V.

Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

Read more: Testimonial by Jamie M.

Testimonial by S.H., age 24

I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me for the past 19 months. I literally could not have reached my goals without you and your practice. You gave me the courage to keep moving forth with my treatment no matter how afraid and anxious I was. You were always there to answer questions and made this whole process so much easier than I expected it to be.

It's because of you that my marriage is on the right track, that I can get pregnant and that this part of my life is finally over. I really feel that Fusion Wellness is a team of people you can call family and are there to root for you and cheer you on until you reach your goals. There is nothing better than knowing I accomplished this with you guys by my side and as calmly and patiently as I needed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being there and helping me reach my goals.

S.H., age 24

Testimonial by S.B.

As someone who suffered the debilitating physical and emotional effects of vaginismus (as well as a complicated history of back injuries) for more than 15 years, I thought a "normal" life was just a fantasy. Then I found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by S.B.

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